State Street Project

City of West Lafayette

Greater Lafayette residents who complained about traffic snarls last summer are getting their first tastes of what an even more hectic season this summer will be.

This week, construction began on West Lafayette’s State Street and you, the listeners to WBAA’s Ask the Mayor, have many questions. We put all of them that have come in so far to West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis during our next half hour.

The first phase of the reconstruction of State Street is due to begin Monday, and that’ll mean changes for bus riders in West Lafayette. CityBus employees and riders alike are trying to see the closure of one of the city’s busiest streets as a blessing in disguise.

CityBus officials have planned detours for the company’s routes that use State Street. Development Manager Bryce Gibson says he hopes the detours are an opportunity for people who hadn’t previously been using public transportation to start.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

West Lafayette is hoping to minimize the shock of closing one of the city’s most traveled streets by communicating with residents on the front end of the massive State Street overhaul. 

Starting April 1st, State Street will be shut down from University Drive to Airport Road. Segments of Tapawingo Drive and Marsteller Street will also be closed. /

Two weeks away from shutting down Purdue University’s main arterial road, West Lafayette leaders are urging drivers to plan different commutes around the State Street Redevelopment Project’s upcoming construction.

City of West Lafayette

In his state of the city address earlier this year, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis prodded President Donald Trump. This came after the mayor attended an anti-Trump rally held by women’s groups the day after the president’s inauguration.

Now, it’s not new for the mayor to break with Republican dogma and anger other GOP officeholders – just look at his tiffs with then-governor Mike Pence over same-sex marriage and the state’s so-called religious freedom bill. But pushing back against the president is a different sort of battle.

City of West Lafayette

After years of literally molding over, West Lafayette’s city hall has been demolished. But what will replace it is still unclear – as is where that replacement might stand.

City of West Lafayette

It’s no secret the city of West Lafayette aims to look significantly different in the next few years.

The State Street redesign gets underway in earnest this year, with a major portion of the road set to close this summer. But what about the buildings along the road?

City leaders have approved several new mixed-use developments – some of them so tall they may need special clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration before ground is broken.

Kyle May /

After Dave Buck resigned from his job as West Lafayette city engineer and public works director in September, he went to work for private engineering firm Butler Fairman & Seufert – a company that’s done a significant amount of business with the cities of West Lafayette and Lafayette. 

The move raises the question of whether Buck’s new position creates an advantage for his new employer or either city. 

City of West Lafayette

The West Lafayette City Council is set to decide the fate of a 600-bed high-rise a developer wants to build just south of State Street.

It’d add more beds to the neighborhood, but might also raise concerns about urban sprawl and the culture of the area just off the Purdue campus.

This week on Ask The Mayor, we speak with West Lafayette’s John Dennis about what impacts he sees from the plan and whether they jibe with his vision for the city.

Also on this week’s show: a number of listener questions about roads around the city.

How can we get more bike lanes?

City of West Lafayette

The many different moving parts of West Lafayette's State Street redesign continue to turn, but one project has been delayed by two years. 

Russell Street, on the Purdue campus, has been converted from a one-way to a two-way street as expected. And excavation work is underway to relocate a segment of Todd's Creek, just west of Airport Road.